The Bible Q&A (Part 2)

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Introduction:

Let’s get right back into it!
Last week, we began by looking at the first four questions.
There was some really great stuff that we looked at
We talked about Bible translations, we talked about how to restore passion to our Bible reading, who created God (nobody), and what our ultimate reason for existence is
So yeah; we definitely had a lot of things to chat about, and you could say the same about tonight
I continue to be blown away by the great questions that you have been asking
So let’s go ahead and get into it!

Question #5: What is a Biblical view on alcohol consumption?

Another great question
This is a question that many of us take seriously, because we have seen the effects of alcohol abuse
Maybe we’ve seen this affect somebody in our family.
It is a really serious thing
But then, we also read about people drinking wine in the Bible
So its like… “what’s the deal? Is this okay, or is it not?”
What can we learn about alcohol from the Bible?
And how can we apply Biblical principles to the way that we think about alcohol?
This is something that many Christians have different views on and have disagreed about for some time
But what are some principles from Scripture that we can use to help guide our conversation when it comes to alcohol?
Specifically, we will see four principles from Scripture
4 Scriptural Principles on Alcohol
4 Scriptural Principles on Alcohol
1. Underage drinking is a sin
Romans 13:1–2 ESV
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
How can we apply this verse to underage drinking?
I’m sure that many of you see where I am coming from with this; it is DEFINITELY a sin for you to drink alcohol right now, because you are under age
There is no getting around that
­As Christians, we believe that God has put the laws of every country in place for a reason
Also, whoever is in charge is there because God allowed it
So, insofar as it does not mean that we do not do something that goes directly against our faith, we need to follow the law
For someone your age, it is ALWAYS a sin to drink, because it is illegal
And it is illegal for good reason. Underage drinking is a real epidemic in our country
Take a look at some of these statistics from the National Institute on Alcohol abuse and Alcoholism:
In 2019, about 24.6 percent of youth ages 14 to 15 reported having at least 1 drink in their lifetime.
In 2019, 7.0 million youth ages 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol beyond “just a few sips” in the past month.
4% of alcohol consumed in the United States is drank by people ages 12 to 20.
More than 90 percent of all alcohol consumed by youth are consumed through binge drinking.
In 2019, 4.2 million youth reported to binge drinking at least once in the past month
In 2019. 825,000 youth reported binge drinking on 5 or more days over the past month.
What can we learn from these statistics?
This is a serious problem in our country
Many of us probably know people who are underage and drink, and it is really unfortunate
Because the statistics also show us how dangerous all of this is.
Here are some of the dangers associated with underage drinking:
Causes many deaths
Causes many injuries
Impairs judgement
Increases the chances of being a victor or a perpetrator of assault
Interferes with brain development
Obviously, these things all show us that underage drinking is a serious issue
This isn’t something that we should dance around
Also, when it comes to being a teen and talking about alcohol, it is pretty easy for your heart to be in the wrong place
This leads us to our next point
2. Doing anything with bad motives is a sin.
What do we mean when we say “motive?”
Motive: The reason that someone does something
Check out what this Proverb has to say about this:
Proverbs 16:2 ESV
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.
The Lord weights the spirit - AKA, he examines our motives.
How can we apply this verse to the conversation of drinking?
So, when it comes to alcohol… If your a teen right now, and your excited by the thought of drinking, ask yourself, “what is my motive?”
If you’re really excited about drinking right now, that is evidence of a heart that tries to tip-toe as close as possible to sin without “crossing the line.”
­Right now, if the thought of being able to drink alcohol one day excites you more than anything else, then you probably shouldn’t drink even when you are old enough.
This type of thought process is a horrible foundation when it comes to alcohol.
This is idolatry, and this could lead to irresponsible behavior.
There are so many dangers when it comes to drinking alcohol.
We already discussed many of these when we were talking about underage drinking, but now let’s get a little more specific when it comes to drunkenness
3. Getting drunk is a sin.
It doesn’t matter how old you are; it is a sin to get drunk at all ages.
Ephesians 5:18 (ESV)
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
What can we learn about drinking from this passage?
­That’s a pretty strong warning, isn’t it?
In fact, the NLT takes the phrase “for that is debauchery” and says “it will ruin your life.”
And that’s true: getting drunk will ruin your life
What are some ways that getting drunk can ruin your life?
There’s a friend of mine that I grew up in church with
One night, she went out partying. She ended up driving while she was drunk.
Two of her best friends were with her in the car.
She ended up hitting a tree. She lives, but her two friends died.
THAT shows you how serious this is.
Let’s look again at the Ephesians passage here.
Notice here that being drunk is listed as being the exact opposite of being filled with the Holy Spirit
Paul says “don’t be drunk; be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Being drunk is as horrible as being filled with the Holy Spirit is incredible.
Just look at this list of major sins in 1 Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 6:9–10 ESV
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
This is on the same list as a lot of other serious sins
So again, we should take this very seriously.
Here’s one last principle:
4. Causing someone else to sin is a sin.
Drinking alcohol could cause someone else to sin
This is something that Paul talked about when it came to eating meat
Here’s a question that the people at the church of Corinth were wondering: “is it okay to it food if it was offered to idols?”
And Paul essentially says “it could be, if you are causing someone else to sin in their heart.”
Check this passage out:
1 Corinthians 8:9–13 ESV
But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
How can we apply this passage to the topic of drinking?
Paul says that, in actuality, it is fine to eat meat if it was offered to an idol; after all, idols aren’t even real gods.
But Paul is essentially saying that, if someone who has a weaker conscious sees you eating meat, he might use that as an excuse to worship an idol.
Similarly, someone might say that it isn’t a sin for a Christian to have a sip of alcohol.
But if you are out and a fellow brother or sister who used to struggle with alcoholism sees you having a drink, they might say “look at him; he’s a Christian and he’s doing it” … this might result in them getting drunk
Being a pitfall for someone else’s sin is very serious
Notice the way that Paul refers to the weaker brother as “the brother for whom Christ died.”
What is he saying here?
Jesus died so that that person could be free from the thing that you are causing them to stumble back into.
Thus, when it comes to having a Biblical perspective on alcohol, we have have to take a look at these four things that are clearly sins in Scripture, and then allow the rest to sort itself out
Do you have any other questions/comments about this topic?

Question #6: Does Jesus feel betrayal or hurt by us?

Let me share with you why I believe that this is an excellent question.
Jesus is perfect, right?
So can someone who is perfect really be hurt when we turn our back on Him?
Also, Jesus is all-knowing
So, he already knew what we were going to do, right? How could that happen?
How would it be possible for a perfect, all knowing person to be hurt by us?
Well, we will see that, in an emotional sense, it is possible
1. It is possible for Jesus to be hurt by us emotionally
Let’s see what we can see from Scripture on this
Genesis 6:5–6 (ESV)
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
What can we learn about this from this verse?
Pay special attention to the phrase “it grieved him to his heart.”
Let’s take a look at how the NLT translates this:
Genesis 6:6 (NLT)
So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.
What are your thoughts on this verse?
Wow...
So the fact that mankind was rebelling against God broke His heart
Does that sound like God being hurt? It sure does to me.
And there’s another passage in the NT that uses similar language:
Ephesians 4:29–31 (ESV)
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
What did you notice in this verse?
Hmm… so what does it mean to “grieve the Holy Spirit?”
The word for “grieve” here is λυπέω
Here’s how the Lexham Theological Workbook describes this word: “The use of the verb most often portrays the experience of being saddened as the result of an interaction with another person.”
So the most likely way to interpret this verse is to say something along the lines of “don’t make the Holy Spirit sad by the way that you live your life.”
And guess how the NLT says it?
Ephesians 4:30 NLT
And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
So then, it is pretty clear
To simply answer this question; yes, we can hurt God
Of course, it is important to clarify this by saying that there is nothing that we can do to stop God
2. Jesus cannot be hurt functionally.
Just check this verse out
Romans 8:28 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
What does this verse tell us about this topic?
When we are hurt by something, it often results in us not being able to perform as well as we often would\
But it is not that way with God; His plans will come to pass no matter what
In that sense, God can’t be hurt functionally. But emotionally? Absolutely.:
Jesus feels pain when we turn our back to Him, but there is nothing we can do to stop Him from being who He is or doing what He needs to do.
Do you have any other questions/thoughts about this topic?

Question #7: When did God speak to Joseph?

Another great question
This question can mean one of two things
First, at what point in history did the story of Joseph happen?
Second, at what point in Joseph’s life did God speak to him?
So I figured that we might as well answer both!
1. Joseph arrived in Egypt during the reign of the twelfth dynasty (c. 1900-1730 B.C.)
This was essentially at the peak of Egypt’s power
Right before this time period, one ruler unified lower and upper Egypt, spreading Egyptian influence to the south and east
So yeah, that’s super specific.
But concerning the course of Biblical history, just remember this:
2. The story of Joseph happens at the end of Genesis, before the Exodus
This story happens before Israel is enslaved in Egypt
But let’s answer the other part of this question; at what point in Joseph’s life did God speak to him?
Here is the first clear indication of God speaking to Joseph in Genesis:
Genesis 37:5–8 ESV
Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed: Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
What from this verse can help us as we have this conversation?
Well, spoiler alert: Joseph DOES end up ruling over his brothers
So God was communicating to Joseph through these dreams.
But how old was he when this happened?
3. Joseph is 17 at the beginning of his story in chapter 37.
In previous chapters, we see the birth of Joseph, and he was mentioned in passing as a child, but this is where the story begins and it records the dream he had about him ruling over his brother
We know how old he was because it clearly says it.
Genesis 37:2 (ESV)
These are the generations of Jacob.
Joseph, being seventeen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father.
So it is clear
And it is not long after this that he is sold and purchased by Potiphar
But did God communicate to Joseph through dreams like this before the age of 17? We are not sure
But we know that he was at least 17 when God began speaking to Him in this way.
Do you have any other questions/comments about this topic?

Question #8: How can I be a better sibling?

We are finishing up tonight with another great question
Let me start off by saying this: being a sibling is a blessing
I really enjoyed my time with my older brother growing up
It wasn’t perfect, of course, but it was mostly positive
I know this too, however: being a sibling is HARD
There are all sorts of different reasons for this
When you are an only child, and then suddenly, you have a sibling, that can be a difficult thing to experience, because suddenly, your parents have something other than you to focus on
Having a sibling is also just hard because, to be honest, sharing the roof with anybody is tough.
You get to see your siblings faults like no one else gets to see them
So a lot of times, there can be some conflict when it comes to siblings
So, biblically speaking, how do can we treat our siblings better?
1. Show them brotherly love
Romans 12:10 ESV
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
What is brotherly love?
Loving someone as if you are brothers (or siblings)
What does that tell you?
Sibling should love each other
In fact, siblings should love each other so much that it becomes the standard by which you measure other people that you love in your life.
But what else can we do to foster brotherly love with our siblings?
2. Forgive easily
Matthew 18:21–22 ESV
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Peter isn’t necessarily talking about his biological brother here, but the principle is the same
We are called to forgive over and over and over and over
Being a sibling means that you will have to forgive your brother or sister over and over and over and over
That’s part of what it is all about
So I’d say, if you are in here, and you want to know how to be a better sibling, start embracing radical forgiveness
This doesn’t mean that you don’t have boundaries, and it doesn’t mean that you allow your sibling to step all over you or anything like that, but it does mean forgiving your brother because Jesus has forgiven us.
Ephesians 4:32 ESV
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Jesus forgave first.
Now its our turn to forgive our siblings
3. Watch what you say to them.
James 3:5–10 (ESV)
So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
It is easy to say mean stuff
This is especially true when it comes to our siblings
For a lot of us, the meanest stuff that we say… is to our siblings
That shouldn’t be the case
In fact, we should be encouraging our siblings by saying nice things to them.
Proverbs 15:1 ESV
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Boy that’s true, isn’t it?
We need to be soft in the way that we answer our siblings
Also look at this Proverb:
Proverbs 16:24 ESV
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
That’s the way we should be with our siblings
We should be saying graceful words, not hateful words
As a sibling, you have the power to encourage and discourage
Do the right thing; be encouraging to your sibling
Before you speak out of frustration to your sibling, take a second to breathe
And think before you speak
Don’t be reactionary in your speech; don’t just say stuff without thinking about it
God has called us to be a people that thinks before we speak
This begins at home with your siblings
This is the perfect opportunity in life for you to get better at guarding your tongue
And overall, I believe that if you do these things, you are going to continue to grow to be the great sibling that God has called you to be.
Do you have any other questions/thoughts about this topic?

Conclusion

We have reached the end yet again.
You know, one common theme that saw at play in most of these questions is the idea of wisdom
God has called you to seek wisdom and discernment in your life
The starting point for a lot of that is to ask questions, which you are doing
Thank you for asking such great questions. And don’t stop doing it.
It is a beautiful thing to see teens who are willing to ask big questions and make their faith their own
So do that. Keep asking big questions. Continue this process of making your faith your own
Don’t just believe in Jesus because mom and dad do. Believe in Jesus because “you yourself have decided to follow Jesus.”
Next week we will be taking a break for the costume party, but we will be back for the final session after that.
PRAY